The Sydney Opera house is an architectural marvel of the modern world. However from a project management perspective many people see it as a failure.
The project was unique and developmental. Many new technologies were employed and there were many innovations and changes to the scope throughout the project. Many people support the concept that the project was never finished.
In 1967 the cost was estimated at A$6million and by the time it was “completed” in 1973 more than A$100million had been spent on the project (more than 16 times the original budget).
What went wrong?
Much has been written about the lack of communications, the project scope creep, the lack of ability to understand complex technology and the political interference in the project. Most documentation comments about the complex array of committees who tried to control the project and the difficulty the architect faced in dealing with these committees. It was impossible for project managers to manage when their work was governed by committees who could not agree.
There was no process where the decisions reached by committees could be brought to a forum where a project management decision could be made.
The Assignment Task:
Your essay is “Building a New Sydney Opera House” from a project management perspective. It is not a description of what took place but a discussion essay that may be informed by some of the history of the project.
Issues you should address are:
- How to establish an organization with the capability to undertake the task?
- What special project management skills do you envisage will be required?
- How will the project management team for developmental project handle new ideas and innovative technological developments that may indicate scope, resource and budget “creep”?
- What communications plan will best suit a project of this nature?
- Make a list of all potential stakeholders and attach this as an appendix to your essay.
- How would you go about building relationships with groups such as the committees mentioned above?
This assessment task covers first six topics and has been designed to ensure that you are engaging with the subject content on a regular basis. More specifically it seeks to assess your ability to:
Identify the responsibilities of a Project manager when participating in a real world project;
Define the role of management in projects, particularly from the view point of the practitioner as a member of the project team;
Apply project management skills, methods, techniques and tools to a real world problem typical of a project manager;
Explain areas of knowledge relevant to project management; and
Discuss the many problems facing the project manager and to note the "best practices" being utilised in order to produce effective, efficient and quality projects on time and within budget.